Hoping to move into a second-place tie with Yale in the Ivy League wrestling race, the Crimson matmen journey to New Haven tonight to face the Elis in an 8 p. m. match.
"It's essentially a battle for second place 'cause I just can't imagine them beating Princeton," Harvard coach John Lee said.
Yale is undefeated in the League with a 4-0 mark and the match with Harvard is the final warm-up before the Bulldogs' showdown with unbeaten Princeton on Saturday. After losing, 22-12, to the Tigers over the weekend, the Crimson enters tonight's match with a 3-1 Ivy record.
"This being their final match before Princeton. I'd have to give them the mental edge," Lee said. "However, I think we'll beat them and I see no reason why we can't finish 14-5." The Crimson now holds a season mark of 12-5 and follows the Yale match with a meet against Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Last year the Elis beat Harvard, 21-14, and finished fourth in the League, one place above the Crimson Returning to face Harvard tonight are 11 lettermen, headed by all-Ivy second team choice Chris Legg at 158 pounds. Legg is captain of the squad for the second straight year.
Harvard's all-Ivy performer from last year, Mark Faller, will have his hands full when he meets second team all-Ivy Al Gaby at 167 pounds.
Faller returned to competition against Princeton after missing three meets with an injured shoulder. He celebrated his comeback by decisioning the Tigers' Gil Serota, 12-5.
Other Yale standouts are Jeff Spendelow at 177 pounds and sophomore sensation Dave Cran at 150 pounds. Harvard's Rich Starr, the Crimson's winningest wrestler this season with a 14-2 mark, will meet Spendelow, and Dean Sheppard will take on Chan.
Yale is very strong in the middle weights but is extremely weak at both ends of the lineup. "It should be a very even meet. We've beaten six of the same schools by almost identical scores," Lee predicted.